Martin Lewis issues ‘act now’ warning to everyone who has booked summer holiday | Personal Finance | Finance


Martin Lewis has provided British holidaymakers with a list of his top tips to help them avoid breaking the bank when heading abroad this summer.

The founder of moneysavingexpert.com has put together “crucial” advice to save Brits hundreds of pounds while travelling.

The money saving guru has provided his insight into how holidaymakers can avoid being scammed by service providers and losing out on money they could have saved on car hires and hotel stays.

On his podcast this week Mr Lewis recommended that listeners “act now” so that they can “take away the risk and can make real savings” this summer.

“If you leave it to the last minute, you will usually pay more,” he said.

Passport Rules

Keeping up with the passport rules of different countries is incredibly important when preparing to travel. Getting sent away at the airport due to a passport that is either nearly expired or over ten years old is perhaps the worst possible way for a holiday to kick off.

It is important to have at least six months left on your passport before trying to head abroad as if your passport has less than a year left then it may not be accepted in certain countries.

This is also applicable to passports that are over ten years old or for people that have changed their names recently, particularly for women who have changed their names since marriage as some countries may not accept the passport upon arrival.

Martin Lewis said: “You want to go and get your passport and the passport of every member of your family now. You want to open it up and you want to go and have a look at the expiry date. This has been something new that has caught people out.”

Rebooking

Martin Lewis has recommended British holidaymakers to cancel and then rebook their hotels or car hire if they have become cheaper since initially booking.

The Money Saving Expert founder warned that it only applies to those with bookings that include free no-fee cancellations.

Mr Lewis said: “Is your hotel or car hire cheaper than when you booked? If so and you’ve got free cancellation keep checking the prices and if you suddenly find it cheaper rebook and then cancel.”

 

Car hire

Car hire companies may look to squeeze extra cash out of holidaymakers by offering optional extras and high insurance cover.

Martin Lewis recommends that it’s much cheaper to buy standalone insurance before stepping foot in the car and save up to £25 for every day that you are renting it.

So much of these companies’ profits come from charging the expensive add ons and insurance cover so taking advantage of standalone insurace means you could cut costs down from £25 a day to “just a  couple of quid a day.”

Health Insurance

It is important to have access to a European or Global Health Insurance Card (EHIC/GHIC) if you want to avoid expensive medical bills while travelling abroad.

Unfortunately it is common to be scammed when acquiring these cards at the last minute so it is necessary to have one well in advance if you want to be protected from expensive bills.

More than four million of these EHICs will expire this year so make sure to double check yours is still valid before relying on it while on your travels.

Martin Lewis said: “You need to check that your EHIC, or its replacement the GHIC… so if you’re going to the EU, you want to make sure that your EHIC is still valid.

“WARNING – do not Google. There are shyster sites which talk about things like fast tracks for EHICs. It’s just not true, it does not exist.

“It’s just a lookalike website trying to make money out of a service that is free, it will not benefit you in any way.” 

Using debit or credit cards abroad

While it is generally easiest and cheapest to get the money that you need for your holiday while still in the UK, many Brits generally prefer to use their debit or credit cards while abroad.

For Brits that prefer using their cards it may be best to open an account with a bank that do not charge when you use your cards abroad, instead converting the cost into local currency using the exchange rate such as Monzo or the Chase MasterCard.

Mr Lewis advised: “If you are going to get money out of an overseas ATM, you need to make sure it’s one that’s got a low fee and you’re doing it in as large a lump as you possibly can or feel secure with. So don’t get four lots of 50 euros out, get one lot of 200 euros out, it’s far better.”



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